In response to our last meeting with city planners and Councillor John Parker, the LPOA and Leaside Unite sent a letter dated Sept. 6 outlining several actions we requested the city consider regarding the proposed SmartCentre North development at Laird and Wickstead.
We have not had a formal response to our letter and, at the same time, the matters in relation to this proposed development have continued to move forward.
We have requested another meeting with the city to specifically get a formal response.
Further, as the senior planner will be releasing his official recommendation in the near future, we wish to continue expressing our opposition to the proposed development.
The current plans represent nearly twice the level of development that has been permitted in recent retail developments along Laird.
Our requests in the letter to the city included:
1) Retaining another consultant to peer review the retail and economic impact assessments as the city’s consultant has previously undertaken a number of market capacity and impact studies on behalf of SmartCentres.
2) Including a full assessment of traffic management solutions as part of the technical review in order to consider solutions to the concerns over traffic and the impacts of each of these solutions on residential amenity.
3) Confirming a full traffic analysis is being undertaken with respect to the range of possible impacts on the North Leaside community, as well as to the South Leaside community.
Our goal is to ensure the SmartCentre proposal respects the cohesive neighbourhood qualities we all value and that Leaside has carefully fostered over its near 100-year history.
In the meanwhile, we are embarking on a fundraising drive to cover hiring our own consultants to advise us on our position and strategy. Fundraising letters will be going out across Leaside early in the new year.